velvet dragon

Homepage 101

I am often asked for advice on building a homepage, where I learned HTML, and "How'd you do that??" The answer is practice. I've been building homepages since 1994. Also, a lot of reading, researching and experimenting. I am self-taught. I started writing blocks of text until I learned how to use paragraph tabs, used the "easy-builder" and just filled in info, then learned how to insert links and pictures into my page, center, and other simple HTML codes. Then I bought a book on HTML, and learned the more complex codes. My best advice to a new webmaster or 'mistress is to try! I am also very anti-WYSIWYG (wiz-ee-wig, "what you see is what you get" editors), and do all my editing in Notepad.

Decide on Your Content

You can always change it later. What do you want your page to say? Do you want it to be an "About Me" page? If it is, it's probably good to include some info and links to some things you're interested in. Do you want it to be on a particular topic?

Find a Homepage

You may be provided a homepage by your ISP (Internet Service Provider). If so, great! You don't have to shop around. If you aren't provided one, you need to find one. You have two options... find a free one, or one you have to pay for. My advice is, if you're new to homepage building, try your hands at a free one first. Below are a list of links to free homepages and lists of free homepages. Look around... find the one that works best for you. I liked Geocities best and now pay for their premium package.

Popular Free Webpages


Lists of Free Homepages

Freebyte!'s Guide to Free Homepages
Free Homepages
Shorter URL for Free
Shorten Your URL for Free
Zone, Free Homepages

Learn the Basics

First you need to learn the basics of HTML. HTML is a hidden language that formats all the webpages you see. It's made up of codes inside of < and > signs. Here are some of the more important ones:

<p> makes a new paragraph.
<br> makes a line break.
<center> makes everything between the two tags centered. </center>
<b> makes the text between the two tags bold </b>
<i> makes the text between the two tags itallic </i>
<u> makes the text between the two tags underlined </u>
<a href=>Title of Site</a> makes a link.
<img src=http://address.of.image> inserts a picture.
<a>Email</a> makes a link to email.

Here are some pages to help you learn more HTML and how to build a homepage.

Creating a Webpage
Intel: Create a Webpage of Your Own
Introduction to HTML
Web Builder (excellent)
Web Designer's Paradise (excellent)

Start Finding Content for Your Page

Once you've got your webpage and have learned some HTML and other details, you can start finding stuff for it. Find information in books, off TV, and in periodicals. You can find information and links for your page by searching the web. Here are some good search engines you can use. Find the one that's right for you.

Starting Point

Resources and That Extra Pizzaz

You've got a homepage, you've got information and you've got links. Now it's time to spruce your site up. You can scan pictures or photos using a scanner (either at home or at a copier place) to put on your page. You can also find many free graphics on the net. Remember that unless it specifically says you can use it, don't use a pic on your page, because it doesn't belong to you. Other extras you might want to add are counters (which count how many times your page has been visited) and guestbooks. Use a RGB hex triplet color code to change the color scheme of your page. Below you will find links to all these things, free for use on your homepage.

Be Seen, Free Graphics and Counters
Boogie Jack's Free Graphics
Media Link's Free Graphics
Free Info, Sites and Services
Free Site (excellent)
Free Stuff On The Net Freebies
Gilbert's Icon Archive
Hey You! Graphics
Infinite Fish Graphics and More
Jelane's Free Web Graphics (excellent)
RGB Hex Triplet Color Codes (excellent)
Ring O' Free Stuff
Syruss Web Graphics

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